Take The Lead: Peace On Earth.

TakeTheLeadFIN

Timothy sets down his glass of wine and continues reading: His mentor has changed tone, he has changed from the Polemic diagnosis of the problem to instruction. Timothy reads:

            First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

(1 Timothy 2:1-7 ESV)

Timothy breathes a sigh of relief, the first section of the letter had him on edge. Now it was time for instruction, it was time for those things Timothy needed to preach.

Paul wanted them to pray, to offer supplications, intercessions and Thanksgivings be made for all people. Paul wanted them to be Godly, to live in peace with others. The nerves returned again, this was not going to go over well with the church, they were so used to doing what they wanted, how could Paul expect he; Timothy, to get them to heed this instruction.

An Evangelistic Lifestyle:

Within the scope of theology there is idea called “Lifestyle Evangelism.” Lifestyle Evangelism is the idea that everything in our lives, in the way that we live and serve and love one another should point to Christ. Some point to this passage in 1 Timothy 2 as the basis for this idea in scripture, indeed it is a good base. Here Paul seems to be telling Timothy: “It is not about what they know, but how they live that matters.” Like Batman’s revealing of his identity to his lover in the first movie: “It is not who I am, but what I do that defines me” the idea is the same. In that the way we live our lives will define us and even point to those things that we believe in.

Paul could have easily just have said “Have knowledge, learn scripture, memorize it, make them follow the bible.” Instead he starts with a different approach. He begins with the basics for the lifestyle of a believer. He begins with the different types of prayer. General prayers (the prayers of the saints) Supplications (Humble repentance), Intercessions (prayer on behalf of others) and Thanksgivings (prayers of thankfulness), all of which draw us together, focus our hearts on God and help us live in peace with one another. Both with our fellow believers, and with those outside of the church who may not know Christ.

Paul goes on to say: “Living a peaceful and quiet life, Godly and dignified in every way.” Godliness is one of Paul’s great exhortations to Timothy in chapter 5 and will be one of the minor themes throughout the book. Living quietly (See also 1 Thess 4:11) means to learn together as a corporate body, the same word would be applied to a Jewish school boy. Peacefully means to literally live at peace with all those around us. Paul has a reason for this kind of Evangelistic Lifestyle; one that neither we, nor the Ephesians should ignore.

The Purpose of Such A Life.

As true believers of the gospel there are some tenants of our faith that we must hold as convictions. One is that we are saved by grace, through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). Not only are we saved by grace, through faith, but so are those around us. Somewhere, at some point or another, someone saw how a believer lived. Yes, it is good to speak the truth, and we must do that, but our speaking of the gospel message must be backed up by the way that we live. We need evangelists like Billy Graham, but we also need people like one of the young men I mentor who has a strong desire to live out the gospel, though he would have a hard time speaking in front of many people.

Yes, grace is what draws people, God’s grace draws people in, but we are to be instruments of that grace. Living then, a life that Godly before men will help assure God’s purposes. God, who “Desires that all may be saved” and that “none should perish” (see also 2 Peter 3:8-13). Not meaning that no one will perish, for we know that some will and have perished and are spending an eternity in Hell. The purpose of living Godly lives before all men is so those men and women who may have not turned after hearing the message, might be saved by seeing the way we live our lives.

Peace On Earth!

At Christmas it seems we find it very easy to be Christians. We believe in peace on Earth and good will towards men and we actually practice that. For the months of November and December things seem to be better, we smile at one another and hug one another and share the Love of Christ.

What if we practiced this kind of peace and love year around? What if Godliness was not something that came out once a year but every single day of the year. Yes, this is hard, but that is why we have the power of the Holy Spirit working inside of us, transforming us through the word of God. We must learn to dwell in a mind frame of peace towards our neighbors and even our enemies. We must ask God to make us His vessels year ‘round.

Remember this though, that this is not something we do out of obligation. This is a natural outpouring of the Love of Christ that dwells in us so richly (Col 3:15). This is a result of a good conscious, a sincere faith and pure heart which issue forth the love of our savior. Created in us by the Holy Spirit who was given to us by the Father and promised by the Son.

 

 

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